The billionaire founder of the Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has vowed to give a bonus worth £735m to charity.
Lei Jun, current chairman of the Xiaomi, wants the money would go to “charitable purposes” after he was awarded the huge payout for longstanding “devotion” to his company.
The £735.6m bonus – given in shares – was revealed in the company’s latest annual report on Wednesday. It is believed to be one of the biggest ever made to an executive anywhere in the world.
The sum given to Mr Lei, 48-years-old, is not far off the £980m declared as Xiaomi’s adjusted net profit for the year.
A Xiaomi spokesperson said: “To the knowledge of the company, upon receipt of the relevant shares, Lei Jun promised to donate all the relevant shares after deducting any tax payable for charitable purposes.”
Neither Xiaomi nor Mr Lei revealed which charities he would be donating to on Wednesday.
The company’s president Lei Bin said last year that its founder would be granted a share bonus as a one-off reward for eight years of “devotion” to the company, according to the South China Morning Post.
The Xiaomi founder has been dubbed “China’s Steve Jobs” and has spoken of his admiration for the Apple tech guru, but also told an audience at a company speaking event: “I don’t want to be considered second to anyone.”
Mr Lei also founded the online book retailer Joyo.com before selling it to Amazon for £67m in 2004.
Xiaomi was the fourth biggest smartphone company in the world during 2018, according to a recent report by the market research firm IDC. Its phone shipments rose 32.2 per cent year over year.